As a young movie enthusiast, I’ve always been on the lookout for films that give me chills without leaving me with nightmares. If you’re a 10-year-old like me, or if you’re a parent looking for suitable scary movies for your child, you’re in the right place. I’ve compiled a list of my top picks for not-so-scary but still thrilling films. Let’s dive in!
1. Coraline (2009)
“Coraline” is a mesmerizing stop-motion animated film that follows the adventures of a young girl who discovers a hidden world behind a mysterious door. While it has some eerie moments, it’s a beautifully crafted tale of bravery and imagination that’s perfect for young viewers.
2. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1950)
This classic Disney film combines two short stories, with the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” offering a spooky, yet fun, adventure with the infamous Headless Horseman. It’s a timeless choice for a not-so-scary Halloween movie night.
“Monster House” is a thrilling animated film about a house that comes to life. It’s a perfect mix of spooky and humorous elements that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
4. The Witches (1990)
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, “The Witches” is a delightfully eerie tale about a boy who stumbles upon a convention of witches. While it may be a bit frightening at times, the story is filled with adventure and wonder.
5. The Addams Family (1991)
Mysterious and quirky, the “Addams Family” is a comedic and slightly spooky take on a rather unusual family. It’s a fantastic choice for a fun, not-so-scary spooky night in with your family.
6. Gremlins (1984)
“Gremlins” is an ’80s classic that tells the story of some mischievous creatures causing chaos in a small town. It’s a bit creepy, but it also has a lot of humor to balance it out.
7. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Tim Burton’s masterpiece combines Halloween and Christmas in a darkly delightful way. The film’s stunning animation and memorable characters make it a must-watch during the holiday season.
8. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Get into the Halloween spirit with “Hocus Pocus.” It’s a comedy-horror film that follows the adventures of three witches who return to cause havoc in modern-day Salem. It’s spooky but in a lighthearted way.
9. Casper (1995)
Who would have thought that a friendly ghost could be so heartwarming? “Casper” tells the story of a young girl who befriends Casper, the friendly ghost. It’s a perfect blend of spooky and sweet.
10. Beetlejuice (1988)
“Beetlejuice” is a quirky, dark comedy that follows a recently deceased couple who hire an obnoxious ghost to scare away the living. It’s a fun and spooky adventure that’s sure to entertain.
11. The Dark Crystal (1982)
“The Dark Crystal” is a puppetry-driven fantasy film that takes place in a mystical world filled with strange creatures and a quest to restore balance. While it has its eerie moments, the incredible puppetry and world-building make it a unique and captivating experience.
If you’re a young adventurer with a taste for the fantastical, this film will whisk you away to a place filled with both beauty and danger. It’s a classic that still stands the test of time.
12. Return to Oz (1985)
“Return to Oz” is a dark and magical sequel to the classic “The Wizard of Oz.” It follows Dorothy’s return to the enchanted land, which has become a much scarier place since her last visit. With its imaginative story and unique characters, it’s a fantastic choice for a slightly spookier adventure in the Land of Oz.
13. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
No Halloween is complete without watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” This classic Peanuts special features the beloved characters and their Halloween antics. While it’s not exactly scary, it perfectly captures the spirit of the season and is a must-watch for any young viewer.
14. Scooby-Doo (2002)
If you love mysteries and a good laugh, “Scooby-Doo” is a fantastic choice. Join Scooby-Doo and his gang as they solve mysteries that often involve supposedly spooky creatures. It’s more fun than fear and is perfect for some lighthearted scares.
15. Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)
Continuing the adventures of Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang, “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” brings more monsters, mysteries, and humor to the table. It’s a great follow-up to the first movie and will keep you entertained without giving you nightmares.
16. Scoob! (2020)
“Scoob!” is a modern take on the beloved Scooby-Doo franchise. It explores the origin of the Mystery Inc. gang and their first mystery together. While it has a fresh, updated feel, it still captures the essence of the original series with a blend of fun and mild spookiness.
17. Goosebumps (2015)
Based on the famous book series by R.L. Stine, “Goosebumps” is an adventure that brings the monsters from the books to life. With its mix of scares and humor, it’s a great introduction to the world of Goosebumps for young viewers.
18. The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)
“The House with a Clock in Its Walls” is a magical and mysterious adventure that follows a young boy living with his eccentric uncle. They must uncover the secrets of a magical clock hidden in their house. While it has its spooky moments, the film is filled with wonder and charm.
19. The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
“The Spiderwick Chronicles” is a fantasy film that revolves around a family who discovers a hidden realm filled with magical creatures. It’s an enchanting and mildly eerie journey that’s perfect for young fantasy lovers.
20. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
“The Secret of NIMH” is an animated classic that tells the story of a field mouse who embarks on a dangerous journey to save her family. With its rich storytelling and memorable characters, it’s a great choice for young viewers who enjoy adventure and suspense.
21. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
“The NeverEnding Story” is a beloved fantasy film that takes a young boy on an epic journey through a magical book. While it has moments of darkness, it’s ultimately a tale of courage and imagination that will capture your heart.
22. The Goonies (1985)
“The Goonies” is an adventure-comedy that follows a group of kids on a treasure hunt. It’s a thrilling and humorous journey filled with pirates, booby traps, and the kind of excitement that makes it an unforgettable classic.
23. The Monster Squad (1987)
“The Monster Squad” is a fun and slightly spooky adventure that brings classic monsters like Dracula and the Wolfman to life. With a group of young heroes facing these creatures, it’s both thrilling and amusing, making it a perfect choice for young viewers.
24. The Gate (1987)
“The Gate” is a supernatural horror film that follows a group of kids who accidentally summon demons from a mysterious hole in their backyard. While it has some eerie moments, it’s an exciting and imaginative journey that will keep you engaged.
These films offer a mix of adventure, fantasy, and mild spookiness that’s perfect for young viewers who want to dip their toes into the world of scary movies without being too scared. Stay tuned for the next set of recommendations as we continue our journey through the not-so-scary side of cinema!
25. The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
“The Watcher in the Woods” is a Disney horror film that combines supernatural elements with a compelling mystery. When a family moves into a remote English mansion, they become entangled in a decades-old secret involving a young girl who disappeared. The film’s atmosphere and suspense make it a thrilling watch without being overly terrifying. It’s a perfect choice for young viewers who enjoy a good puzzle along with their chills.
26. The Black Cauldron (1985)
Disney’s “The Black Cauldron” is a darker, lesser-known gem in the Disney animated lineup. It follows the adventures of a young pig-keeper named Taran as he sets out to prevent an evil warlord from obtaining a powerful cauldron. While it has its share of eerie moments and a menacing villain, it’s ultimately a tale of bravery and heroism, making it suitable for young audiences.
27. The Last Unicorn (1982)
“The Last Unicorn” is an enchanting and melancholic animated film that tells the story of a unicorn on a quest to find her lost kin. Along the way, she encounters various characters, including a wicked witch. The film is beautifully animated and features a hauntingly captivating narrative. It’s a gentle blend of fantasy and darkness that will resonate with young dreamers.
28. The Princess Bride (1987)
“The Princess Bride” is a classic fairy tale adventure that has something for everyone. It combines romance, comedy, and action in a whimsical world where a young woman named Buttercup must rescue her true love from an evil prince. While it has moments of peril and sword fights, it’s a heartwarming story that’s suitable for young audiences who appreciate a good fairy tale.
29. Labyrinth (1986)
“Labyrinth” is a fantastical adventure directed by Jim Henson and starring David Bowie. It follows a young girl named Sarah as she ventures into a mystical labyrinth to rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King. The film is visually stunning and filled with imaginative creatures and puzzles. It offers a blend of excitement and mild spookiness that will captivate young viewers.
30. The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” is a darker and more intense entry in the Batman series. It features the iconic performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker, making it a film that’s both thrilling and thought-provoking. While it’s not as light-hearted as some of the other films on this list, it’s a great choice for young viewers who want a taste of superhero action with a touch of darkness.
31. The Sixth Sense (1999)
M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense” is a supernatural thriller that revolves around a young boy who sees and communicates with the dead. While it’s more intense than the previous entries, it’s a thought-provoking film that combines psychological horror with a touching story of redemption. It’s suitable for older kids who can handle a bit more suspense.
32. The Others (2001)
“The Others” is a gothic horror film starring Nicole Kidman, set in a dark, eerie mansion where a mother cares for her photosensitive children. As the story unfolds, it’s filled with suspense and psychological tension. This film is more suitable for older kids who enjoy a spine-tingling mystery.
33. The Village (2004)
M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village” is a mysterious and atmospheric film that explores the secrets of a secluded 19th-century village. The movie combines elements of suspense and psychological drama. It’s suitable for older kids who appreciate a slower-paced, thought-provoking story.
34. The Ring (2002)
“The Ring” is a chilling horror film about a cursed videotape that brings doom to anyone who watches it. With its creepy imagery and suspenseful storytelling, it’s a film for older kids who are ready for a more intense and unsettling cinematic experience.
35. The Grudge (2004)
“The Grudge” is a supernatural horror film that revolves around a vengeful spirit haunting a house in Tokyo. It’s known for its eerie atmosphere and unsettling scares. This film is intended for older kids who can handle the suspense and horror elements.
36. The Babadook (2014)
“The Babadook” is a psychological horror film that tells the story of a mother and son tormented by a mysterious presence. It’s a thought-provoking and eerie film that explores the themes of grief and trauma. It’s more suitable for older kids who enjoy psychological horror.
37. The Hole in the Ground (2019)
“The Hole in the Ground” is a supernatural horror film that centers on a mother and son who move to a new home near a mysterious sinkhole. The film creates an atmosphere of tension and uncertainty, making it suitable for older kids who appreciate supernatural scares.
38. The House That October Built (2014)
“The House That October Built” is a found-footage horror film that follows a group of friends on a road trip in search of the scariest haunted attractions. While it’s more focused on suspense and jump scares, it’s better suited for older kids who enjoy the adrenaline rush of haunted houses.
39. The Conjuring (2013)
“The Conjuring” is a supernatural horror film based on the real-life investigations of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. It’s known for its chilling atmosphere and jump scares, making it suitable for older kids who can handle the intensity.
40. The Woman in Black (2012)
“The Woman in Black” is a gothic horror film that follows a young lawyer as he investigates a haunted house in a remote village. It’s a classic ghost story with an eerie atmosphere, and it’s suitable for older kids who enjoy traditional horror tales.
41. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
“The Haunting in Connecticut” is a supernatural horror film inspired by real events. It tells the story of a family who moves into a haunted house. The film combines suspense and supernatural elements, making it suitable for older kids who can handle a more intense fright.
42. The Amityville Horror (2005)
“The Amityville Horror” is a remake of a classic horror film that revolves around a family’s terrifying experiences in a haunted house. It’s filled with suspense and supernatural occurrences, making it suitable for older kids who enjoy haunted house stories.
43. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is a courtroom drama with horror elements that tells the story of a priest on trial for the death of a young woman during an exorcism. It’s a thought-provoking and eerie film, suitable for older kids who appreciate psychological horror.
While the previous entries in this list offer a range of spooky and thrilling experiences for kids, the final section delves into more intense and suspenseful films that are best suited for older kids who can handle a higher level of fear and tension. Make sure to choose a movie that matches your child’s age and comfort level, and enjoy the spine-tingling adventure together!
44. The Ring (2002)
“The Ring” is a psychological horror film that brings an eerie and mysterious element to the world of horror. The story revolves around a cursed videotape that causes anyone who watches it to meet a grim fate within seven days. The film’s suspenseful storytelling, creepy imagery, and a relentless sense of impending doom create an unsettling atmosphere that will keep older kids on the edge of their seats.
45. The Grudge (2004)
“The Grudge” is a supernatural horror film that will send shivers down your spine. It tells the story of a vengeful spirit haunting a Tokyo house and those who encounter it. The film is known for its spine-tingling scares, eerie atmosphere, and a sense of dread that lingers long after the credits roll. It’s a perfect choice for older kids who relish a good, hair-raising ghost story.
46. The Babadook (2014)
“The Babadook” is a psychological horror film that delves into the depths of a mother’s grief and a child’s fears. The story follows a mother and son as they are tormented by a sinister presence in their home. The film’s slow-burning tension and exploration of psychological horror make it an excellent choice for older kids who appreciate a thought-provoking, unsettling experience.
47. The Hole in the Ground (2019)
“The Hole in the Ground” is a supernatural horror film that weaves a tale of a mother and son who move to a new home near a mysterious sinkhole. As they settle in, they begin to experience strange and unsettling occurrences. The film creates an atmosphere of tension and uncertainty, making it suitable for older kids who enjoy supernatural scares and psychological thrillers.
48. The House That October Built (2014)
“The House That October Built” is a found-footage horror film that follows a group of friends on a road trip to uncover the scariest haunted attractions. It offers a different kind of thrill, focusing on suspense and jump scares as they venture into the world of extreme haunted houses. Older kids who enjoy the adrenaline rush of horror attractions will find this film both entertaining and unsettling.
49. The Conjuring (2013)
“The Conjuring” is a supernatural horror film that draws inspiration from the case files of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The story revolves around a family facing terrifying supernatural occurrences in their new home. Known for its chilling atmosphere, jump scares, and suspense, “The Conjuring” is a spine-tingling experience perfect for older kids who appreciate intense, supernatural horror.
50. The Woman in Black (2012)
“The Woman in Black” is a gothic horror film that takes place in a remote village where a young lawyer investigates a haunted house. It’s a classic ghost story filled with an eerie atmosphere and a sense of dread. This film is suitable for older kids who enjoy traditional horror tales with a touch of the supernatural.
51. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
“The Haunting in Connecticut” is a supernatural horror film that draws inspiration from real events. It tells the story of a family who moves into a haunted house and experiences a series of terrifying supernatural encounters. The film combines suspense and supernatural elements to create a sense of dread and fear. It’s recommended for older kids who enjoy a higher level of intensity in their horror films.
52. The Amityville Horror (2005)
“The Amityville Horror” is a remake of the classic horror film, based on a true story, that focuses on a family’s horrifying experiences in a haunted house. The film is known for its suspenseful and supernatural elements, offering an intense and chilling experience. It’s well-suited for older kids who appreciate the haunted house genre and a more frightening cinematic experience.
53. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is a unique blend of courtroom drama and horror that tells the story of a priest on trial for the death of a young woman during an exorcism. This film explores themes of faith, possession, and the blurred line between science and the supernatural. It’s recommended for older kids who are looking for a thought-provoking and eerie cinematic experience.
The final set of movies in this list offers a more intense and suspenseful cinematic experience. These films are suitable for older kids who can handle a higher level of fear and tension. As always, it’s important to consider your child’s age and comfort level when choosing a movie for family movie night.
Whether you’re looking for a mild scare or a spine-tingling adventure, there’s a film on this list for every young movie enthusiast. Enjoy your movie nights and the thrilling journey through the world of cinema! You should to read other articles i wrote about >>>> Family-Friendly Flicks: Exploring Good Movies for 12-Year-Olds on Netflix to learn more.
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